PhD in Hookups

by Loweren

This is a place where I share my experience with online dating and casual sex as a nerdy guy in my 20s


Updated: May 11

When I was first attempting to meet someone in a romantic way, I encountered an obstacle I didn't realize could be possible: I had no idea how the romantic date was structured.

Well, sure, I watched enough movies as a kid and I knew what kinds of things occur on a date: a couple is getting drinks together, they are lying on the grass pointing at clouds, a kiss occurs at some point and maybe there's some between the sheets action. But the flow between these things, the connective tissue tying them into a single whole, was missing. I think many non-american readers can empathize with me if I compare it to a game of baseball shown on a TV screen: the pitcher throws a ball towards the catcher, the batter is deflecting it up in the sky, and then someone is running around trying to touch all the bases. But the overall structure of the game, the rules by which it's determined who wins and who loses, are still escaping my grasp.

Turns out, in real life, if I want to score a home run, it's quite important to have an idea what's happening and in what order. For this reason, I developed a sort of workflow I use when setting up dates and going on them.

From the project development perspective, a date is a series of events that leads to my preferred romantic outcome. An unsuccessful dating life, then, is caused by a bottleneck at one of the stages of the dating pipeline.

To keep things simple and easily defined, I will assume I'm talking about sex as a desired outcome. To make this breakdown work, I can take a pool of my sexual partners, and ask myself what events did lead to sex in hindsight. Simply put, I attempted to perform backwards induction: start with a desired outcome, and figure out what step was preceding it. Then figure out a step before that step, and so forth.

Two terms that I throw frequently here are appeal and logistics. These denote two different types of things that occupy my attention in regards to making the date a successful one.

Appeal: Do I look attractive? Am I a pleasant conversation partner?

Appeal is the emotional reaction I provoke in my date; becoming more appealing means putting more care into fashion, hygiene, and conversation. As a rule of thumb, appeal tells me what to do and how to do it.

Logistics: Where should we meet? When should I kiss her?

Logistics are the nitty-gritty details of a date I have to think about to make sure it goes without a hitch. Improving date logistics means looking up stuff in advance, checking schedules and booking places. As a rule of thumb, logistics tell me when to do something and where to do it.

What follows is a list of stages I need to pass before having sex with a partner, with a description how it feels to be stuck on a certain stage, and some improvements I made to get over the hurdle. Needless to say, I failed each stage many times my dating history.

1) Me and my future sexual partner have to become aware of each other's existence.

How the bottleneck feels like: I don't get a chance to meet potential partners; I spend months by myself without meeting new people; there are no attractive people in my social circle.

How I deal with it: get in situations where there's a possibility of talking with strangers; take up new activities which allow me to meet attractive people; get on dating apps; use premium features

Logistics are important on this stage, since there are a lot of ways to meet new people, but only few of them are efficient. I have to choose, whether to enroll into a class with a dozen of women or spend the same amount of time scrolling through thousands of potential matches.

Since the majority of my sexual partners have been introduced to me by dating apps, I'll take matching on Tinder as a setup for the further breakdown. Logistics comes to help here in the form of premium features many of the apps have - I can sort the feed by newcomers first, send superlikes to tourists to get noticed ahead of any competition, and figure out the best time of the day to bump up my profile.

So by the end of this stage, my dating profile is shown to the potential match, and she decides to...

2) Me and my future partner have to initiate the contact with each other

On dating apps, this takes the form of matching with each other, or texting the first message.

How the bottleneck feels like: I swipe a lot but don't get any matches; I send a lot of messages but don't get any responses.

How I deal with it: improve my photos; improve my profile description; improve my opener message.

Appeal is extremely important here. Luckily, from my experience, the majority of men I saw on my female friends' apps don't seem to put any sort of effort into their profile, which means I can elevate myself with a bare minimum of work.

As this stage ends, a chat window pops up and a dialogue begins.

3) Me and my future partner get to know each other

How the bottleneck feels like: I introduce myself but get ghosted; I get explicitly rejected while texting.

How I deal with it: figure out the texting etiquette; read examples of texting before the successful date; practice texting with foreigners; mirror the texting style of my match.

This is still peak appeal territory, but it shifts from a static public profile page to interacting with my current match: how good am I specifically to her? Here I can be dynamic and change my approach depending on who I match with.

Depending on logistics, this period can last from a couple of minutes to months, though it's never wise to let it continue longer than necessary. By the time I got her added on a messaging app, it's time to think about...

4) Me and my future partner have to arrange a date

How the bottleneck feels like: I text with my matches but it doesn't go anywhere; I ask my matches on a date but they refuse.

How I deal with it: ask for a date in a timely and appropriate manner; find a good place and time for a date.

Appeal and logistics are about equally important here. Not all women install a dating app with the intent to meet their match in the physical world, but they might change their plans if they encounter someone who piqued their interest. At the same time, I need to put thought into good places and activities for dating, looking up stuff in advance if needed.

So the arranged time has arrived, I get out to meet her, and then...

5) I have to escalate physical intimacy while on a date

How the bottleneck feels like: I go on a date but we don't kiss; I try to be intimate but get rejected.

How I deal with it: meet up with more attractive people; put more attention into what I wear; improve my hygiene; find better locations for a date; recognize a good moment to kiss.

Obviously I have to take care of my appeal before going on a date, but, surprisingly, logistics take more attention when planning a date and actually being there. Sometimes I might have a couple ideas in my head and choose one based on circumstances, or totally wing it and adapt to the circumstances. However, for me it's safer and more comfortable to have a plan in my head to fall back on, even if I'm flexible about relying on it.

And finally, I'm embracing my date in a secluded location, we're making out with each other, and there's just one last thing to take care of...

6) I have to arrange a convenient location for sex

How the bottleneck feels like: we make out outside but there's no place indoors we could go to; I ask her to come to my place but she can't make it.

How I deal with it: make sure my apartment is decently clean; book a hotel room; get a ride if the public transport takes too long to get to the place; don't drag the date for too long.

Logistics come one last time to help out here. Both place and time are important considerations for a good hookup site: it should be private, clean and easy to get to. In case of emergency, booking a hotel room online is a good move, however doing it in advance is preferable to not break the flow of the date. I just make sure ahead of time it's possible to cancel the booking without paying the fee.

At last, I arrive home, with an attractive girl in my hands, and I'll leave the rest to your imagination. It's not that kind of blog, after all. Unless..?


iTand22: I'm curious about the number of first kisses at a lighthouse. Are they numerous in your area? Or is there just like 1 or 2 and it's a popular date/hookup location?

Loweren: There's one close to the city center, and it's a somewhat known location to the locals of the city, but almost no tourists go there. Since I'm mostly meeting with tourists, It makes it a quiet isolated location with a beautiful view - perfect for creating a romantic mood.

Falkenhain: Nice post! I am very interested in your journey from geek to stud. About me: Same age, business student at good European university. Any resources you could recommend or other piece of advice? With Tinder I get a lot of matches and most also answer, but I am not good at chatting (especially keeping the conversation interesting) and don't like it as it often leads nowhere and appears as a waste of time. So just 3 girls laid in two years via Tinder.

Loweren: Thanks! But make no mistake, I'm still the same geek as before, just more skilled at finding casual sex. I'm in process of setting up a site where I could post dating advice, so stay tuned! You can also visit my Discord server where we share tips how to improve at online dating. We share our photos, bios and Tinder conversations there.

What will help you is to move a conversation at much faster pace. Ask her which places she likes the most in the city. Then invite her to hang out there together, preferably the same evening. That's it, you've got a date.

panda_burglar: This is super interesting - what ethnicity are you? Did it trend toward asian since that is your preference or based on availability/reciprocated interest?

Loweren: I'm Russian. Before I moved out of Russia, I didn't know I had any ethnic preferences. In Germany, I found that there are much fewer local women I find attractive compared to Russia, but a lot more asian tourists who were pretty and cute. When I moved to France, I didn't like the look of most locals either (Russia spoiled me lol), but in addition to asian women there were also a lot of very attractive black women. It's much harder for me to hook up with local black women, but much easier to do it with asian tourists - maybe because of my skinny body type? I don't have much muscles or body/facial hair, and look younger than my age. Maybe this is a kind of look that's popular in Asia now? I invite a lot of black women for photoshoots though. Since I discovered it's much easier to have casual sex with tourists than with locals, that's also a part of the explanation - there aren't a lot of black tourists here.

bradburnham: I usually go out with some work colleagues or friends of friends. Right now I'm going out with someone. Date number 5 and no considerable progress. Frankly don't even know if she's interested to take it to the next level

Loweren: Well, good news is, you don't need to know this to escalate the romance. Don't wait for signals of approval; instead, execute your romantic moves until either she rejects you, or you two have sex.

Normally I meet a girl, take her hand, we kiss, make out and then have sex, all within the first date. Sure, I was rejected plenty of times, but it wasn't a bad experience, just "Sorry, I'm not looking for this" or even "That's too fast for me, can we do it another time?". In my book, sex is +1 point, getting rejected is 0 points, and not even trying is -1 point. That's the mindset that will let you move fast.

Grindelflaps: Are you just in it for the sex?

Loweren: Sex is a convenient metric to measure dating success. Another one would be the length of the relationship, but at the moment I'm not looking for long-term commitment.

Saying that, I probably wouldn't enjoy someone just coming to my house, banging me and leaving. I cherish human connection, meeting someone for the first time, developing a physical chemistry and having a fun date. Aiming for sex just makes me more proactive and assertive, which are the qualities I was lacking when I was just starting to meet women online. I had lackluster dates that never really went anywhere. Nowadays I enjoy meeting tinder girls much more, because I have a particular goal in mind.

Mdh74266: When the other party brought a friend, and you had sex...did you get with both of them?

Loweren: No. In most cases, the friend left us alone after some time together outdoors. Sometimes it's a male friend. In one case in 2018, two friends (A and B) were sharing a room, so I was in bed with the partner (A), and her friend (B) was snoring on the other bed nearby. Next night B kicked us out for some time because she brought a tinder guy too, so we gave B some privacy and spent some time outside.

Apocolotois: How are you meeting tourists from Instagram?

Loweren: Either through Tinder's bio (a lot of women mention their instagram there), or through my city's photofeed. Advanced move: browse the hashtag with your city's name in a different language. Then it's just sending the intro message over and over again, and hoping someone responds.

MasterAgent47: that's brave but is there a chance of that being super creepy? like how does it exactly happen? how many times does it work?

Loweren: A creepy guy is the one who doesn't back off when he's rejected. There's nothing bad about just introducing yourself.

I send a message saying "Hi! 😁 Are you enjoying your time in city? I can recommend you some places to visit here, if you want". Tourists welcome advice from locals with open arms, and are open to meeting new people.

It works like a charm for meeting people. However, since women there are not on Tinder and didn't match with me, they are in general less open to casual sex. Can still happen though.


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